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Jul 22, 2010 08:40 AM

Carillon on Groupon - Is it worth it?

The offer on Groupon today is $25 for $50 at the Carillon. I looked for reviews but the Carillon has only been mentioned here briefly. Someone mentioned it isn't inspired food, but is it at least worth getting the equivalent of a free entree?

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  1. Yes, yes, yes, YES! It is definitely worth it. Delicious food, wonderfully elegant atmosphere. I've had several delectable meals there since it opened.

    1. It has been a while but my son and I ate there during Austin Restuarant Week and were very favorably impressed with the food. It has been a long time ago in terms of my memory bank but I do recall how impressed we were with it. They also have parking in a garage and if I recall that correctly, you get your parking validated.

      BE SURE and make a reservation. When we went somehow the reservation got flubbed and we were told to come on down and we could be seated. When we got there an officious young lady would not seat us. We finally convinced her to let us eat in the bar area which was completely empty. She reluctantly consented. The hostess waited on us and busted her butt trying to make sure we had good service.

      OTW, the place is very traditional, maybe even a little on the stuffy side as pertains to decor. But the food was good.

      1. having seen their HH menu, this is someplace i am definitely interested in trying.
        unfortunately, i don't get downtown much so it may take a while to give it a go.

        1. I bought the more recent $60 Groupon for The Carillon, and we used it last night. We went there just to use the Groupon, not expecting to be totally blown away by the food and service, but we totally were. I think this place has now taken our top seat for non-pretentious, excellent service, great dining in Austin.

          We made reservations, which the host chuckled at because when we got there, there was one other table occupied in the entire restaurant. He seated us right in front of the open kitchen where we enjoyed seeing things spring into action as our order went through.

          The amuse was a shot of tomato soup with a dollop of green onion puree on top. Hubs and I both ordered the foie gras, which was a VERY rich dish, between the foie, a chunk of croissant, dates, wilted butter lettuce, and some macadamia nut butter. My husband ordered the rack of lamb and I ordered the duck confit, but before they came out, Chris, the chef de cuisine, brought us the nairagi Napoleon to sample since the kitchen was so slow. It was a tartare, excellently paired with a smoky chevre and grapefruit.

          Hub ordered his lamb rare and it was perfectly so, served with a creamy risotto. My confit made my eyes roll back in my head. It was served atop sauteed leeks, with a sour cherry sauce on top. Paired with it was a skillet of cannelini beans that were probably the most flavorful beans I've had, and I pride myself on my own beans so that's high praise.

          We couldn't let the night end there... dessert for me was cherry bread pudding topped with limoncello ice cream - again, amazing - and hubs got the chocolate terrine with coriander ice cream and cilantro garnish because he's a freak who likes cilantro. The chocolate was extremely rich, and I sampled the ice cream expecting to be hit with a soapy yuck from the coriander, but it actually tasted more like lemon and cardamom to me.

          Bill for two folks for three courses and a half bottle of wine was about $150 before tip and before Groupon was applied. Well worth it, even without the Groupon.

          1. Wanted to chime in--I also haven't heard much about Carillon. I just went here and the service is impeccable (possibly overly attentive for some people) but exactly what my husband and I were looking for. Made reservations in advance.

            Hamachi crudo is delicious--4 slices served with currants, a slice of hazelnut and a few shavings of celery with a spicy oil that I can't remember. So many complex flavors in one bite.

            Husband ordered the olive oil poached tenderloin. It was tender and the demi-glaze was to die for. I ordered the veal tenderloin that was served with fried sweetbreads and came with crispy brussel sprouts. Both of our entrees were fantastic.

            Dessert was chocolate terrine with yes, coriander ice cream and an orange sauce. Chocolate desserts are usually meh for me but the orange sauce added a citrus bite that cuts the rich chocolate. Loved the ice cream.

            Husband ordered walnut tart with earl grey ice cream and was not disappointed. Nice soft crunch from walnuts.

            It was our anniversary, so we went all out. Pricy but worth it. No Groupon. We'll be back here again. Also I usually lurk but this is my first post, hello Austin Chowhounds! I hope more people will check this place out--it was close to empty when we came here. :(

            3 Replies
            1. re: ubermoos

              Agreed. Totally awesome place. Went during ARW and still dropped a hundred a head, but it was worth it, and would be without the ARW pricing.

              1. re: bubbleboy79

                Clearly the most underrated restaurant in Austin. It's up there with our best.

                1. re: frankcross

                  I've sent half a dozen friends, and everyone's loved it. If only I had more nights off, or money, or friends.